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THE OLD COWBOY Part Twenty Two
"Your mother had disappeared! Well at first I'd thought she was playin' 'hide 'n seek' an' hidin' behind some large rock, just bein' playful like always. No, the kids an' me looked all over, but she wasn't to be found. I had a couple of the younger kids keep lookin' farther out, whilst me and the oldest boy headed in the mine.
The guard gave us each a lamp for the dark in that ol' shaft. I told the boy to keep his eyes wide open. We stumbled along for a hundred feet or so and I thought I saw a light up ahead. I called out to 'Sissy' and I thought she giggled.
'Your mother's goin' to be real disappointed if I don't bring you back with me,' I called out to her. She giggled again, and that light disappeared. Needless to say by dang-it I was gettin' wound-up. She was goin' deeper and I really didn't like bein' in that mine.
I sent her brother on ahead. He said he didn't mind, the mine didn't bother him! I knew he'd catch up to her, 'cause she wasn't playin' with him, she was playin' with me.
It took a few minutes, and I started to go get her myself. Just when I put one foot in that direction, two little lights showed up out' a the dark."
"So mom was alright then Grandpa?"
"Yep, she was just fine, your mother. I thought 'bout spankin' her little bottom for runnin' off without lettin' me know but what good would come of that. After all, she was just playin' and that was the big i-d-a that day, to go out and have some fun. After we got out of that mine we were all gettin' hungry, so we hi-tailed it for home.
Since we was on the east side of the mountain, the sun left the sky much to early. Your grandmother agreed. Next weekend I'd told the foreman I had to go where the sun didn't set so soon, somewhere south. We packed up Tanner and the mules, the wagon, the kids and all, and headed toward Texas.
Down in west Texas they had some mountains, but not many. Seems the rancher'd just lost his foreman and none of the other cowhands wanted to be the foreman. I gladly took the job, what with all them kids to get raised.
They had pretty good schools there in El Paso. The biggest problem 'round them parts was the wind. That wind came up...
To Be Continued. . .
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